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Rabbits have long been a part of Easter folklore. They are well known for their fertility and are often used to symbolize the Earth’s own fertility as we approach Equinox. Rabbits begin having the first of their adorable babes in the Spring, usually followed by at least one more litter of babies soon after. You can imagine that a mama bunny really must have her hands full in those first few months.
Below you will find a tutorial for making some simple baby bunnies in walnut cradles, as well as a mama bunny to look over them. This little playset would be a great addition to a nature table or centerpiece for Easter dinner.
As always, please use common sense when using this toy with a young child, as the small objects could pose a choking hazard.
- Four wooden beads approx 1/2 inch tall
- Glue (I prefer Aleene’s Tacky Glue, found at most craft stores)
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- One wooden candle cup
- One 1 inch diameter wooden knob or bead
- Assorted scraps of fabric
- 2 walnuts
- White linen fabric or other stiff fabric
- Wool roving
Note: I got all of my supplies at various craft stores but you can be successful finding similar wooden supplies online by searching for “wooden craft parts.” One site I found that sells almost all of the supplies needed is The Wood & Shop.
The Bunny Babies
Split the walnuts in half and remove the nut meat from the inside.
Cut a circle of fabric approximately 2 1/2 inches diameter and a piece of roving that, when balled up, fits nicely in the center of the walnut shell.
Ball up the roving and place it at the center of the fabric circle. Gather up the edges around the roving tightly, almost like a cinched purse.
Put a large drop of glue at the bottom of the shell using the glue gun.
Quickly insert the cinched fabric and roving ( cinched side down ) into the shell. Make sure that all rough edges of the fabric are tucked in and that they make contact with the hot glue. Apply pressure for a few minutes until the glue has dried.
Repeat using desired fabrics on the other three shells.
To make the baby bunny heads, cut four pairs of bunny ears out of the white linen fabric. Make sure that they are proportionate to the bead that you are using for the head.
Attach the ears to the beads as shown below. Use the regular tacky glue, so that you don’t burn your fingers. Let them dry.
To attach the heads to the walnut beds, use the glue gun to put a drop of glue onto the fabric bed, where it meets the shell.
Attach the head to the bed and hold until dry. Repeat on the other three beds.
The Mama Rabbit
Using tacky glue, attach the large bead to the bottom of the candle cup.
Let dry completely.
Cut out some proportionate ears for the mama rabbit and make a small fold about 1/4 of the way up each of the ears. This fold will allow for the ears to stand upright on the larger bead.
Using tacky glue, attach the ears to the rabbit as shown.
To make a bunny tail, simply roll a small piece of roving in your hands until it becomes a tight ball.
Glue the ball into place on the rabbit’s bottom.
And there you have it. A sweet Mama Rabbit to look over her beautiful litter of babes, all tucked snuggly in their little walnut cradles.